Building your bud cart can be a lot of fun, and using all your products is even better. Less fun? The cleaning that has to happen after your session (or ideally at least once a week). Maintaining your gear is definitely a chore, but as Sara Ramesbottom, head of retail at Tokyo Smoke explains, “Cleaning your tools is just as important as the tools themselves when creating an experience.”
There are reasons above and beyond aesthetics and a smoother experience when it comes to cleaning your cannabis accessories; resin smells and looks bad, but its tar compounds – including carbon and carcinogens – will continue to burn if not removed. And, a freshly cleaned piece means a better release of the terpenes and flavonoids in your bud.
How to clean pipes, bongs and vapes
What you need:
- Rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl Alcohol between 90-99%)
- Salt – the bigger the grains the better, so try something like kosher or sea salt.
- Grains of rice can be used as an alternative if you do not have salt.
- Pipe Cleaners
- Cotton swabs
- Wine cork (for large bongs)
- Cloth or paper towel
- Sealable Container or reusable plastic bags
NOTE: If you’re looking for a natural alternative to rubbing alcohol, you can substitute with equal parts white vinegar and lemon juice as your cleaning solution.
Pipes & Bongs
For the best experience every time, these items should be cleaned after every use. This is important because they can potentially hold mould. If you are cleaning a larger bong, you’re going to want to use your sealable container for smaller items.
- Before you start, make sure you empty the bowl of any remaining bud. If you are cleaning a pipe, skip to the second step now. If you are cleaning a large bong, using the wine cork to plug the bowl. Then through the mouthpiece, fill your bong with a handful of either rice or salt and some of your cleaning solution.
- Place your tool in the container and submerge it cleaning solution and tightly conceal the container
- Shake the bag or container with everything in it for 30 seconds, and then let it sit for at least an hour.
- After sitting for an hour, remove your tool and drain everything.
- Dip a pipe cleaner in the cleaning solution and thread through the hole connecting the bowl to the mouthpiece.
- If you notice there is still some residue on smaller areas of the tool, take a cotton swab, soak it in your cleaning solution and rub the area clean.
- Once your tool is spotless, make sure you wash it out, both inside and outside, with hot water in order to get ride any left-over cleaning solution.
- Let your pipe or bong air dry, or wipe it down with a cloth or paper towel.
Cleaning a vaporizer involves a slightly different process because you cannot submerge it in a cleaning solution.
- Take all the pieces of your vaporizer apart and with a cotton swab that has been soaked in your cleaning solution, wipe everything down until it is clean.
- Dip a pipe cleaner in the cleaning solution and thread through the hole connecting the oven to the mouthpiece.
- After this is done, do the same with a cotton swab soaked in warm water.
- Once your tool is spotless, make sure you wash it out, both inside and outside, with hot water in order to get rid of any left-over cleaning solution.
- Let your vaporizer air dry, or wipe it down with a cloth or paper towel.
Wiping down or rinsing your accessory with hot water will get rid of all the leftover cleaning solution you’ve used. A great way to make sure all the chemicals are gone is to see if you can still smell rubbing alcohol on the product; rinse it again before use.
Story by Sophie Naprawa
Photo by David Pike
Tokyo Smoke does not condone or recommend the illegal consumption of cannabis. For more information, please refer to our disclaimer.